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Dodgers: J.P. Howell looking for three-year deal

SportsBaseballJ.P. HowellRandy ChoateJeremy AffeldtSt. Louis CardinalsSan Francisco Giants

J.P. Howell, one of the top left-handed relievers in the major leagues last season, said Tuesday that 15 teams have expressed interest in him and that he hopes to sign a three-year deal.

"That's what I'm looking for," Howell said.

Howell said his first choice in free agency is to return to the Dodgers. Beyond that, he said, he has only one preference.

"Just a contender," he said. "I don't care where it is. It can be in Egypt."

Left-handed relievers Jeremy Affeldt and Randy Choate secured three-year contracts last winter. Affeldt, then 33, signed with the San Francisco Giants for $18 million. Choate, then 37, signed with the St. Louis Cardinals for $7.5 million.

Howell, 30, posted a 2.03 earned-run average for the Dodgers last season. He fits best as a left-handed specialist -- he held left-handed batters to a .164 batting average, with 36 strikeouts in 110 at-bats -- but he held right-handers to a .222 batting average.

In four of his five full seasons as a reliever, he has posted an ERA below 3.05.

 

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